Nanopaper Solar Cells – Finest Wood Pulp in the World

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Nanopapers are, like the paper we use daily, made from wood pulp, but in this case reduced to nano-sized lengths and formed into “a network of nanofibrillated (tangled) cellulose (NFC).” This tangled network, a seemingly impenetrable mass, is surprisingly transparent, and the paper’s increased light scattering makes it 90 to 95-percent transparent (a counter-intuitive thought).  Earlier discoveries showed that coating the paper with carbon nanotubes “made the paper very strong and highly conductive, which could allow it to be used for printed electronics (such as circuit boards) and in products that require a lightweight construction.” Extracting NFC from ordinary paper fibers is a time and energy intensive process, so the next batch of  nanopaper won’t use these fibers, instead “detangling” …

Chew on This: How a Snail Might Teach Us How to Make Better Batteries

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Radula: A flexible tonguelike organ in certain mollusks, having rows of horny teeth on the surface. [Latin r dula, scraper, from r dere, to scrape] freedictionary.com The Gumboot Chiton is not pretty, and is downright ugly when turned over.  The rows of molars on its underside are wonderfully suited though, to scraping algae off rocks, and the hardness of its dentures is something materials scientists study closely.  The Chiton, described as a “wandering meatloaf” because of its hump of leathery brown upper skin, may not have an alluring personality, but is teeth are magnetic, leading to University of California, Riverside assistant professor David Kisailus’ attraction to them. Kisailus, specializing in chemical and environmental engineering, and his fellow researchers may have found …